Bushfire Safety For Travellers during the bushfire season
Bushfires can occur without warning and can quickly impact your travel route.
Being out on the road during a bushfire is extremely dangerous-last minute evacuations are a deadly option.
If you are planning to travel in the country you need to think about bushfire safety.
This leaflet will help you manage your country travel plans and help you prepare yourself and your vehicle in case a bushfire does occur.
South Australia is divided into 15 Fire Ban Districts.
Each district has its own fire danger season dates, so it is important to be aware of which district you live, travel or work in. The district's daily Fire Danger Rating and/or Total Fire Ban declaration indicates dangerous weather conditions for bushfires.
[Map of Fire Ban Districts]
The Fire Danger Season generally runs from November to April. During the season fire restrictions and strict controls apply to the lighting of fires and the use of certain tools and machinery to reduce the chance of bushfires starting.
It is important to know which fire ban district you are visiting in order to know whether a fire ban is current and whether restrictions apply.
Refer to the CFS website for more information on the restrictions during the Fire Danger Season.
The Fire Danger Season
|Fire ban district||From||To|
|1||Adelaide Metropolitan Area||1 December||30 April|
|2||Mount Lofty Ranges||1 December||30 April|
|3||Kangaroo Island||1 December||30 April|
|4||Mid North||15 November||30 April|
|5||Yorke Peninsula||15 November||30 April|
|6||Murraylands||15 November||15 April|
|7||Riverland||15 November||15 April|
|8||Upper South East||15 November||15 April|
|9||Lower South East||22 November||30 April|
|10||Flinders||1 November||15 April|
|11||North East Pastoral||1 November||31 March|
|12||Eastern Eyre Peninsula||1 November||15 April|
|13||North West Pastoral||1 November||31 March|
|14||Lower Eyre Peninsula||1 November||15 April|
|15||West Coast||1 November||15 April|
Note: These dates may change due to seasonal conditions.
Stay Alert and Informed
Travelling in the country during the bushfire season needs to be done with extreme caution and vigilance.
Check the Fire Danger Ratings in weather forecasts every day. The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) may declare Total Fire Bans in some districts or even across the whole state on days when severe weather conditions could cause fires to become uncontrollable. These are days when high temperatures, strong northerly winds and low humidity occur. Total Fire Bans and Fire Danger Ratings aren't a prediction of how likely a bushfire is to happen, but tell us how bad a bushfire could be if it did start on that day.
On Days Of High Fire Danger
On days of high fire danger or Total Fire Ban, it is best to postpone a trip into the bush because of the dangers of fire starting and moving rapidly. If your travel or activities place you in areas of high risk, can you postpone your trip or plan an alternative route? Can a work-related job be done on another day or in another location? Did your plans involve activities or tools banned on a Total Fire Ban day? Do you know where is the safest place to relocate?
Fires Can Threaten Suddenly And Without Warning
Watch for signs of fire, especially smoke and flames
Know the Fire Danger Rating in your area and be aware of local conditions
Have your Bushfire Survival Plan and kit ready
Call 000 to report a fire
To Seek Information
- listen to local radio,
- go to www.cfs.sa.gov.au, or
- call the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1300 362 361 (TTY 133 677)
|Danger rating||What does it mean?||What should I do?|
Total Fire Ban
You Need To Act Now
Total Fire Ban
You Need To Get Ready To Act .
Total Fire Ban
You Need To Be Aware
Hierarchy Of Bushfire Safer Places In SA
CFS has developed a hierarchy of places that can offer relative safety from bushfire. It is important that you know what each of these are, where they are, and what risk you may be exposed to if you use one of these options during a bushfire. More detail can be found on the CFS website, www.cfs.sa.gov.au
|Safest||Bushfire Safer Place||Adelaide Metropolitan area, outer suburbs and rural settlements||
If you need to relocate early.
Suitable for use during forecast bad fire weather or during bushfire. May be subject to spark and ember attack and smoke.
|Least Safe||Last Resort Refuge||Designated ovals and buildings in rural areas.||
If your plan has failed.
Not suitable for extended use and may provide only limited protection during bushfire.
If You Need To Use Your Vehicle as a Shelter From a Bushfire
- Find a clearing away from dense bush and flammable material on the ground, such as branches and leaves.
- Park the vehicle off the roadway to avoid collisions in poor visibility.
- Face the vehicle towards the oncoming fire front.
- Turn headlights and hazard warning lights on.
- Tightly close all windows and doors.
- Stay inside your vehicle-it offers the best protection from the radiant heat.
- Shut all the air vents and turn the air conditioning off.
- Turn the engine off.
- Get down below the window level into the foot wells and shelter under woollen blankets.
- Drink water to minimise the risks of dehydration.
As The Fire Front Passes
During a bushfire the critical time for personal safety is during the 5 to 10 minutes it takes for the fire front to pass.
- Stay in the vehicle until the fire front has passed.
- Fuel tanks are very unlikely to explode.
- Smoke gradually gets inside the vehicle and fumes will be released from the interior of the vehicle. Stay as close to the floor as possible to minimise inhalation and cover mouth with a cloth.
- Tyres and external plastic body parts may catch alight. In more extreme cases the vehicle interior may catch on fire.
- Once the front has passed and the temperature has dropped, cautiously exit the vehicle (be careful-internal parts will be extremely hot).
- Move to a safe area such as a strip of land that has already burnt.
- Stay covered in woollen blankets, continue to drink water and wait for assistance.
Travelling on the Road
Prepare. Ensure you and your vehicle are ready
Keep several woollen blankets, protective clothing, boots, a first aid kit and a supply of fresh water in your vehicle, just in case you are caught in a bushfire.
Be aware of bushfires before you commence your journey, plan an alternative route and do not travel to the affected area. If you come across smoke while travelling, turn around and go back. Listen to the radio and ask locally for help to find a safe way through.
Act. In the event of a bushfire
Remain vigilant of your surroundings, and follow any advice or directions provided by emergency services personnel or via an emergency broadcast on local radio (see below for frequencies).
Let someone know your plans and how to contact you.
As the fire front passes, properties will be subject to radiant heat, fame contact, ember attack, smoke, loud noise, darkness, and power failure.
Survive. Protect yourself from radiant heat
Radiant heat can kill. To protect yourself, you need to cover up, dress appropriately and take refuge.
Solid structures and appropriate clothing may provide protection from radiant heat. It cannot penetrate solid objects, which means your best protection is in a well- prepared house or structure if you are unable to leave the area before the fire starts.
Cover all exposed skin in natural fibres (e.g. wool, cotton) to protect from radiant heat.
To report a fire, call 000-for emergency warnings and alerts, tune into one of our emergency broadcast partners:
SA Emergency Broadcast Partners: ABC Local Radio, FIVEaa Radio, Sky News Television, WIN Television, Commercial Radio Australia
|Adelaide||891 ABC Adelaide||891 AM|
|Adelaide||Cruise 1323||1323 AM|
|Adelaide||Nova 91.9||91.9 FM|
|Adelaide||Mix 102.3||102.3 FM|
|Adelaide||Triple M||104.7 FM|
|Adelaide||SA FM||107.1 FM|
|Andamooka||ABC North & West||105.9 FM|
|Ceduna||Flow FM||106.1 FM|
|Clare/Mid North||Flow FM||107.5 FM|
|Coober Pedy||ABC North & West||106.1 FM|
|Coober Pedy||Flow FM||99.7 FM|
|Cook||ABC North & West||107.7 FM|
|Coonalpyn||Flow FM||97.7 FM|
|Glendambo||ABC North & West||106.1 FM|
|Kapunda/Barossa||Flow FM||99.5 FM|
|Kingscote||Flow FM||95.5 FM|
|Kingston SE||Flow FM||107.3 FM|
|Leigh Creek Coalfield||ABC North & West||99.3 FM|
|Leigh Creek South||ABC North & West||1602 AM|
|Maitland||Flow FM||90.9 FM|
|Marree||ABC North & West||105.7 FM|
|Minlaton||Flow FM||98.9 FM|
|Mintabie||ABC North & West||88.7 FM|
|Mt Barker||Power FM||100.3 FM|
|Mt Gambier||5SE||963 AM|
|Mt Gambier||Star FM||96.1 FM|
|Murray Bridge||5MU||1125 AM|
|Murray Bridge||Power FM||98.7 FM|
|Naracoorte||ABC South East||1161 AM|
|Naracoorte||Star FM||100.9 FM|
|North Mt Gambier||ABC South East||1476 AM|
|Oodnadatta||ABC North & West||95.3 FM|
|Padthaway East||Flow FM||100.3 FM|
|Pinnaroo||Flow FM||96.5 FM|
|Port Augusta||5AU||1242 AM|
|Port Lincoln||5CC||765 AM|
|Port Lincoln||ABC Eyre Peninsula||1485 AM|
|Port Lincoln||Magic FM||89.9 FM|
|Port Pirie||ABC North & West||639 AM|
|Prominent Hill||Flow FM||91.3 FM|
|Riverland||ABC Riverland||1062 AM|
|Riverland||Magic FM 93.1||93.1 FM|
|Roxby Downs||Flow FM||97.9 FM|
|Roxby Downs||ABC North & West||102.7 FM|
|Streaky Bay||ABC Eyre Peninsula||693 AM|
|Streaky Bay||Flow FM||99.3 FM|
|Victor Harbor||Power FM||99.7 FM|
|Woomera||ABC North & West||1584 AM|
|Woomera||Flow FM||101.7 FM|
|Wudinna||Flow FM||106.9 FM|
|Yalata||ABC North & West||105.9 FM|